CFAES Give Today
News Releases Archive (Prior to 2011)

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


What is Wrong with This Plant? New OSU Extension Program Helps to Diagnosis Problems

June 5, 2008

WOOSTER, Ohio -- A new Ohio State University Extension program makes it easier for natural resources and horticulture professionals to identify what ails woody plants and shrubs.

The Plant Diagnostic Academy, hosted by the Woodland Stewards Team and the Extension, Nursery, Landscape and Turf Team (ENLTT), will take place July 9-11 at Secrest Arboretum on the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center campus in Wooster, Ohio. The program is open to Extension educators, as well as Master Gardeners, natural resources and park district professionals and landscape, nursery and greenhouse specialists.

"The Plant Diagnostic Academy is designed to help attendees better understand the identification process and to develop the skills needed to diagnose plant health problems caused by insects and diseases," said Kathy Smith, an OSU Extension associate in forestry. "It's more than just throwing a chemical on a plant to treat something that you are just guessing what it is. The program focuses on an IPM (Integrated Pest Management) approach of correctly identifying the problem and treating it with the right insecticide or pesticide."

The Plant Diagnostic Academy will specifically focus on diagnostics of woody plants, and will include sessions on the process of plant diagnostics, hands-on diagnostic demonstrations, woody plant diseases, insect and mite problems and cultural and environmental challenges. Attendees will come away with key plant identification characteristics, resource materials to help with identification and diagnosis, the right questions to ask to identify a potential problem and the process for taking diagnostic images.

The Plant Diagnostic Academy will take place July 9 from 1 p.m. until 7 p.m., July 10 from 7:30 a.m. until 7 p.m., and July 11 from 7:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. Registration is $250 per person and includes program materials, a plant diagnostic kit and meals. Registration deadline is July 1.

For more information or to register, log on to the Ohio Woodland Stewards Web site at or call (614) 688-3421 or e-mail

Candace Pollock
Kathy Smith